Many writers are currently pushing themselves for NaNoWriMo. I’m not. I keep saying maybe one year. Apparently, this wasn’t my year. Again. I think part of it is I’m always in denial when November comes around. I refuse to accept another year is almost over. Anyway, I figure those who are participating don’t have time for a long blog post (which I seem doomed to write). So here’s a quickie for you to enjoy during a break from your literary madness.
5 Things No One Told Me About Being a Writer
1. Reading would take on a whole new dimension.
Just about every established author tells the newbies they need to read if they want to be a strong writer. I considered it to be the best perk of being an author—justification for why I couldn’t take my nose out of a book. What no one said was that I’d start reading those books in an entirely different way. I can no longer just get lost in a story. I have to critique and edit and analyze the entire time. The way I rate a 5-star book these days is if it can make me forget I’m an author and pull me into the story.
2. My verbal communication skills would diminish.
This is especially noticeable for me since I no longer work outside the home, and I don’t get to practice my verbal communication as often. More often than I’d like to admit, I find myself in a conversation wishing I could run to my computer and send an email instead. My fingers have replaced my mouth and it’s a struggle. Maybe if I tried typing on an invisible keyboard while I talked. That wouldn’t be weird at all.
3. I’d become a creepy observer.
I always enjoyed people watching, but now it’s a required job skill. I am observing, taking mental notes of nervous ticks, mannerisms, reactions to situations—really everything you are doing, I’m watching. While creepy, I assure you I’m harmless. Unless you see me whip out my phone and start making a note. Then you may need to worry that I’m plotting your fictional demise.
4. I’d spend a lot of time on Google, researching weird facts.
Was there a full moon on October 10, 2014? What year did INXS become popular? Does a fire extinguisher leave a smell or residue? Do people say soda or pop in Colorado? On and on and on . . .
I had often chuckled at the search suggestions Google would pull up when I started typing in the search box. I’d think, “Who is researching this stuff?” Then I became and author. Click.
5. I’d become Dug.
You all remember Dug from the movie Up, right?
Yeah, creativity is like a magnet for distractions. I’d sit down to type and suddenly I’m rearranging my desk. I’d start researching some weird fact and then fall down a rabbit hole of fascinating useless facts. I’d go to answer emails and get sucked into blog post after blog post. I’d get on Facebook to post to my page and—SQUIRREL!